FRIDAY, Jan. 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Having many patients with multiple chronic diseases may raise the mental strain of general practitioners (GPs), according to a study published online Jan. 14 in the British Journal of General Practice.

Anette Fischer Pedersen, Ph.D., from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues examined whether patient multimorbidity (two or more chronic, physical diseases) is associated with GP burnout in a Danish primary care setting. The analysis included 1,676 Danish GPs and national register data on their patients.

The researchers found that a high crude rate of patient multimorbidity increased GPs’ likelihood of burnout (odds ratio, 1.79). After adjusting for covariates, the association remained significant when comparing GPs in the third highest quartile of the multimorbidity rate against GPs in the lowest quartile (odds ratio, 1.64). However, when adjusting for sex and age, patient multimorbidity rate was not associated with GPs’ likelihood of burnout.

“GPs with high numbers of patients with complex needs should be supported to prevent suboptimal care and GP burnout,” the authors write.

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